Darkness in Alaska

Q. I’ve heard Alaska has six months of darkness. Is that true?

A. It depends a lot on where in Alaska you live, but basically there are three months of intense darkness in the middle of the winter (December, January. February) and three months of intense lightness in the middle of the summer (May, June, July). The other months the days are either getting longer and longer or shorter and shorter.

In the far north the sun does actually set in the winter and not come up for about three months. And in the summer, it comes up and doesn’t set for about three months. In the south-central part of the state, around Anchorage where most of the population is, we have about 5 hours of daylight in the darkest months. In the summer we have about 5 hours of twilight — it never really gets dark.

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